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Yellowstone docu-drama.

  1. Mar 15, 2005 #1


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    The BBC did quite a nice docu-drama on the Yellowstone supervolcano the other day, and I was wondering if anyone else got a chance to see it. I thought it was quite good to see a volcano based program with factual basis and accuracy (anyone who has seen the film "LA" may understand just how terrible things like that can be) and I thought it effectively highlighted the pressures that vulcanologists have to face in their line of work. The main things that I have to say annoyed me slightly were the pyroclastic flow car chase (Ok, it got the car in the end, but in real life there is no way in hell it could have outran for that long) and the shots of the magma chamber being a stereotypical lofty cavern with frothing bubbling lava.

    If you missed this one, the USGS site mentions another one coming on the discovery channel in April

    If anyone else saw it, I'd love to hear your oppinions on it.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 15, 2005 #2
    I havn't seen the one you're talking about with the pyroclastic car chase. (o_0 ?) I saw one like last month on the Discovery Channel but I found that it was actually made by the BBC back in around 2001 or something, so I guess they have been making other ones.
  4. Mar 16, 2005 #3
    I also viewed the one Sportsguy mentions, it might of been the most informative piece on volcanos in the USA I've ever seen. I will make it a point to watch this " pyroclastic flow car chase" when it airs.
    Thanks for the information on it.
  5. Apr 18, 2005 #4


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    I saw a video on Super-Volcanoes two years ago, but not sure if it was the BBS production. It was aired right after one on Mega-Tsunamis. I think it was on Discovery channel. They like to air shows that arouse our emotions.

    It was interesting to watch. I believe they showed, using satellite images, how Yellowstone is within a large caldera. I visited Yellowstone a few years back, camped out by Slew Creek and spent a week in the park exploring the geothermal basins. Was quite exciting having moose foraging for their breakfast right near my tent. :bugeye: The boiling pools, bubbling mudpots and blasting geysers were fantastic!!! ----> http://www.yellowstoneparknet.com/geothermal_features/geothermal_features.php

    Some of the thoughts this show left me with were, that Yellowstone Volcano erupts on average every 600,000 years. And the last eruption was about 640,000 years ago. The magma chamber is active, raising the ground level in some parts of the park by more than 70cm over one century. In geological timeframes that bears our attention.

    They point out the devastation that may ensue following a blast from a SuperVolcano. Ash in the sky, blocking out the sun's rays, possible ELF (extinction level event), Armageddon!!! :surprised (See how they can play with our emotions :biggrin:)

    The concern is valid, but their statistical analysis appears skewed towards the worst case. The last three megaeruptions at Yellowstone were 640,000 yrs, 1,300,000 yrs, and 2,100,000 yrs ago. If you look at their intervals between eruption; (640,000-today), 1300,000-640,000) and (2100,000-1300,000); this averages to one megaeruption every 700,000 years, with a standard deviation of 87,000 years. With 96% confidence, each eruption occurs every 700,000 years +/- 2stddev. Statistically this implies we would be right 96% of the time in predicting the next eruption will occur sometime between today and 234,000yrs from now.. [700,000+(2*87,000)-640,000]. Hmmmm, that doesn't so bad :rolleyes:

    Perhaps we can figure out a way to vent the pressure inside this caldera before it explodes, though that would mean we wouldn't have as many neat geysers to watch when we visit the park :frown:
  6. Apr 18, 2005 #5


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    I had it on for a while, but didn't pay enough attention to critique it. Didn't see the car chase.
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